Nurses in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) are rarely remembered. This is because their patients are just coming out of surgery and regaining consciousness.
We asked Megan Vaughan, a PACU nurse at Bon Secours Southside Medical Center, to describe what has kept her going throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one chooses nursing as a profession with the thought that they will one day face a pandemic, just as a soldier doesn’t sign up because they want war,” Megan shares. “We are called to serve in whatever capacity that may be…. Nurses look beyond the lines of division.”
She adds, “we serve all who are weary, who are tired, who are sick. We serve those who don’t understand our profession. We serve those who do not appreciate our efforts. We serve those who are gracious and thankful for us. We advocate for our patients’ holistic wellbeing, even if they don’t fully understand what that means. We are the hand-holders, the huggers, the educators, the gentle face between fear and reality.”
A PACU nurse is the voice that comforts patients and is the face they see as they wake up. In those few short few moments just out of surgery, patients are stabilized, cared for and made to feel comfortable.
“We do our work seamlessly, and before you even know what’s going on, you feel better,” says Megan. “We are trained to understand our patients, even when they can’t speak for themselves.”
From an early age, Megan’s mother encouraged her to become a nurse.
“I wish I had asked her why before she passed, but she saw something in me that I didn’t see myself.”
Megan always thought her mom wanted her to be a nurse because she knew I would always have a stable job. Looking back though, Megan thinks she wanted her to become a nurse for bigger reasons.
“I’m still working on that answer,” she says. “I have tried other professions and careers before becoming a nurse. No matter how hard this role becomes, I don’t see myself doing anything else.”
Faith resonates strongest with Megan. She reveals that this past year has tested and pushed her beyond any limit, both professionally and personally.
“Faith got me through it,” Megan says. “I had faith that our leader, Sharon, would get us where we needed to be. I had faith that my team would come together and serve wherever we were sent to help. I had faith that eventually we would find an answer on how to battle COVID-19. I had faith that there would be better days ahead of us. I had faith that God had a bigger plan for all of us.”
Enjoy stories that celebrate our amazing Bon Secours nurses during Nurses’ Month.
Also, learn about the health care services we offer at Bon Secours.